I don't like Rudy Giuliani for president. I don't like his stance on abortion (I am vehemently pro-life). But this sucks, okay?
Relatives of firefighters killed at the World Trade Center in 2001 reproached Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani in a video Wednesday, pairing footage of the falling twin towers with charges that the city's former mayor was woefully unprepared for Sept. 11, causing needless firefighter deaths.
No one . . . NO ONE knew what kind of impact 9/11 would have that day. No one expected airliners flying into the WTC, much less BOTH towers collapsing. New York is a massive city - although the action was happening at the tip of Manhattan, the mayor had to be concerned about the entire city, whether it be panicked reactions, looting, or whatever. I grew up in NYC - I KNOW.
Oh yeah, this video attacking Giuliani comes courtesy of the International Association of Firefighters, who oppose Giuliani's candidacy.
Fire union officials and family members, repeating claims they had made for months, charged Giuliani pushed for a faster cleanup of ground zero at the expense of finding remains, put an emergency center in a building that collapsed on Sept. 11 and failed to provide working radios for firefighters, making it impossible for them to learn the towers were on the verge of collapse.
"Virtually the whole thing goes back to him with the radios," Jim Riches, a deputy fire chief whose son was killed on Sept. 11, says in the video. "He's the guy on the top, and he's the guy you yell at. He takes the hit. And my son is dead because of it."
Really, Mr. Riches? Why don't you yell at al-Qaeda - your son is dead because of them. But you expect Giuliani to have kept your son alive by masterfully handling the distribution of radios?
I was here in California on 9/11 but I kept in constant touch with friends and family back in New York. It was chaos, it was shock, it was something no one expected to happen, much less live through. On that day, Giuliani did the best he could . . . and to many New Yorkers, including myself, he did us f**king proud.
Former New York firefighter Lee Ielpi, whose son died on Sept. 11, and former Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Richard Sheirer appeared at a news conference with McKeon, calling the video a "disgrace" and saying it is full of "half-truths."
Ielpi disputed claims made in the tape that workers searching for remains were pulled from the rubble, arguing that Giuliani allowed some workers to return. Similarly, Sheirer said it wasn't the radios that didn't work but rather a high-rise signal transmission system that didn't work in one of the towers but worked "perfectly" in the other tower, until it crashed to the ground.
"I was there. I saw it. I experienced it," said Ielpi, who worked at ground zero for the nine-month cleanup. "I'm not going to let lies like this go."